Work with data volumes

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In Docker Cloud, you can define one or more data volumes for a service. Volumes are directories that are stored outside of the container’s filesystem and which hold reusable and shareable data that can persist even when containers are terminated. This data can be reused by the same service on redeployment, or shared with other services.

Add a data volume to a service

Data volumes can be either specified in the image’s Dockerfile using the VOLUME instruction, or when creating a service.

To define a data volume in a service, specify the container path where it should be created in the Volumes step of the Create new service wizard. Each container of the service will have its own volume. Data volumes are reused when the service is redeployed (data persists in this case), and deleted if the service is terminated.

If you don’t define a host path, Docker Cloud creates a new empty volume. Otherwise, the specified host path is mounted on the container path. When you specify a host path, you can also specify whether to mount the volume read-only, or read/write.

Reuse data volumes from another service

You can reuse data volumes from another service. To do this when creating a service, go through the Create new service, and continue to the Volumes step. From the Volumes page, choose a source service from the Add volumes from menu.

All reused data volumes are mounted on the same paths as in the source service. Containers must be on the same host in order to share volumes, so the containers of the new service will deploy to the same nodes where the source service containers are deployed.

Note: A service with data volumes cannot be terminated until all services that are using its volumes have also been terminated.

Back up data volumes

You might find it helpful to download or back up the data from volumes that are attached to running containers.

  1. Run an SSH service that mounts the volumes of the service you want to back up.

    In the example snippet below, replace mysql with the actual service name.

    $ docker-cloud service run -n downloader -p 22:2222 -e AUTHORIZED_KEYS="$(cat ~/.ssh/" --volumes-from mysql tutum/ubuntu
  2. Run a scp (secure-copy) to download the files to your local machine.

    In the example snippet below, replace with the container’s Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), and replace /var/lib/mysql with the path within the container from which you want to download the data. The data will be downloaded to the current local folder.

    $ scp -r -P 2222 .
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